FL09June - Page 86

In Search of Monster Carp
ally we left, and I think Big Bob the
Biker took the swim over. There were
loads of people that wanted the swim,
but he was the biggest; he was a
Hell’s Angel, and when he said he
wanted the swim, you gave it to him.
He had all our baits as well, I think.
But he was alright, a good old boy he
was as it goes.
Then we got back to the car park,
and through the whole trip we had
forgotten about the Mini van. We got
in it and started driving up the road
hoping that everything would be better, and this kangarooing started and
we thought, oh Jesus Christ. It started
getting more and more frequent, and
worse and worse, and in the end it
was getting so bad that it was literally
just jumping all the time. It actually
ripped the exhaust off the brackets,
which was then dragging along the
road, and went through the petrol
tank, so we had to stop. It was a Saturday evening, all the garages were
shut, and no one wanted to help, so
we had to tie the exhaust up with an
old rod bag, and stuff the end of it in
the petrol tank to stop the petrol running out. So there we were, and it was
jumping up and down, sparks every-
where, people were flashing us, and
we kept overheating as well. In the
end we loosened the cap on the radiator so many times when it was getting red hot that the cap snapped off
in my hand and we had no water, so
we were flagging down lorries just to
fill the radiator up, but that was only
lasting about 20 minutes before it
would run out again. In the end we
got towed into this little garage, and
we were there for three days while he
welded the petrol cap on the radiator,
patched up the tank with filler, and
put new brackets on the exhaust pipe.
He said, “Yeah, it should be alright
now.” Well we got back in, and it was
just the same; he’d patched it all up,
but the kangarooing was still the
same, and eventually, it took us five
days to get to the ferry.
We got back drove into our road,
and there was a welcoming committee – all our mates who had been
waiting for us to come home. They
were all standing outside cheering as
we came down the road, and the
exhaust actually fell off and we had to
go back and pick it up. That was the
last time the car ever went – literally
it stopped outside and it died there,
The day after my 60, Pete Noonan latched in to this monster of 54lb.
but it had got us there, and it was
worth its weight in gold. We told
everyone about the trip and all that; I
mean there was quite a group of people waiting for us. To be honest, I
thought we were going to catch fish
like that every time we went. I had
had made two trips to Cassien by
then; on first one I caught a 40lb’er
when I wasn’t really well equipped,
and on the second one I wasn’t well
equipped either, just a little bit more,
and we’d had caught a 50lb’er and a
60lb’er! We thought that was what
French carp fishing, and Cassien, was
going to be like that all the time, but
little did I know at the time that it was
actually going to take me 18 years to
beat that 60lb PB.
So I suppose it puts into perspective how lucky I was to catch a fish of
that size back then, and how we had
just got it right that time. We were in
the right place at the right time; we
got the tactics right, and we caught
the fish. But it certainly wasn’t going
to be like that every time, as we were
to find out. It was incredible; it
changed my carp fishing life for sure
and after that time, it was never going
to be the same. n


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